With Heart

Julie Lay


Did you know that February is American Heart Month?

It’s not just about the candy kind... it’s about saving lives! Each year, the American Heart Association helps the nation turn its focus on heart disease.

The first American Heart Month was declared in February 1964, just nine years after the sitting President, Lyndon B. Johnson, suffered and survived his own heart attack.

Curious how you can lend a hand to support this important cause? Learn more about the American Heart Association’s initiatives to help central Kentucky stay heart healthy.

Go Red for Women

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women. It claims more women’s lives than all forms of cancer combined. Go Red for Women – sponsored nationally by CVS Health and locally by CHI Saint Joseph Health and Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital – is the American Heart Association’s signature women’s initiative to end heart disease and stroke in women. Go Red for Women is working in communities around the world to help women understand that cardiovascular disease is their greatest health threat and that they should take action to lower their risk.

Heart disease is not just a problem for “old” people. Women – especially Black and Hispanic women – are disproportionately impacted by heart disease and stroke. Research shows heart attacks are on the rise in younger women and new data from a study published in Circulation suggests younger generations of women, Gen Z, and Millennials, are less likely to be aware of their greatest health threat, including knowing the warning signs of heart attacks and strokes.

That’s why it’s important for all women to take charge of their heart health and encourage others to do the same.

As the trusted, passionate and relevant force for change to eradicate heart disease and stroke in women, Go Red for Women remains steadfast and committed to meeting the comprehensive health needs of women at every life stage. Grounded in science, Go Red for Women creates powerful solutions that ensure all women are aware of their leading cause of death and provide the tools and resources to treat, beat and prevent cardiovascular disease.

Over the past 17 years, Go Red for Women has funded life-saving women’s research, advanced public health policy, championed closing gender gaps in research and STEM, and created a platform for women to address their greatest health risk: cardiovascular disease. Go Red has had a profound impact on women’s health and will continue to remove the barriers women face to achieving good health and well-being and continue to be a champion for women and women’s health.

Go Red for Women empowers women to take charge of their physical, mental and maternal health through Research Goes Red – an initiative with Verily’s Project Baseline that places women in the driver’s seat to accelerate scientific change through equitable representation in clinical trials and health research.

Go Red for Women inspires women to get healthy through “Watch Me Go Red” – a campaign designed to engage women to show others what they do to experience good health and wellbeing while inspiring others to do the same. Because together, there’s nothing women can’t achieve.

It’s no longer just about wearing red; it’s no longer just about sharing heart health facts. It’s about all women making a commitment to stand together with Go Red and taking charge of their own heart health as well as the health of those they can’t bear to live without. Making a commitment to your health isn’t something you have to do alone either, so grab a friend or a family member and make a Go Red Healthy Behavior Commitment today. Learn more at GoRedForWomen.org

Central Kentucky Go Red for Women Experience

Over the past 13 years, the Central Kentucky American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women events have raised over $2,000,000 for life-saving research and education. Go Red for Women encourages women to make their health and wellbeing a priority – which is why the Central Kentucky Go Red for Women Luncheon will be a digital experience again this year.

“Like so many organizations, we’re working to navigate a ‘new normal’ amid COVID-19 and have adapted our annual luncheon to a digital format,” said Mike Turner, senior social events director in Central Kentucky. “Despite the devastating toll of COVID-19, heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of women. We’ll continue to fight to end heart disease and stroke – just from the safety of our own homes.”

This year’s Go Red for Women event, which will take place on Friday, April 23, is chaired by Kathy Love, vice president, and chief strategy officer at CHI Saint Joseph Health. Kathy is a passionate advocate for women’s heart health and uses that passion to drive positive change as a volunteer leader for the Central Kentucky American Heart Association.

“I’m so honored to be the chair of the Go Red for Women movement because it’s all about empowering and motivating women – and the entire community – to take charge of their health and their futures,” said Love. “As the longest-standing cause-level partner of Go Red for Women in the nation, CHI Saint Joseph Health has proudly supported the American Heart Association on programs throughout central and eastern Kentucky to prevent heart disease and stroke, promote healthy lifestyles, and raise critically needed funds for over 13 years.”

CHI Saint Joseph Health is the local cause sponsor for the 2021 Central Kentucky Go Red for Women Experience alongside local Together to End Stroke sponsor, Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital and national Go Red for Women sponsor, CVS Health.

Along with their support of Go Red for Women, CHI Saint Joseph Health has supported the American Heart Association’s Have Faith in Heart initiative since 2012. Have Faith in Heart helps empower communities that are affected most by heart disease by offering educational materials and programs to predominantly African American churches in the Lexington community. The program provides over 200 heart health screenings each year to Lexington residents.

CHI Saint Joseph Health also supports STEM Goes Red in Central and Eastern Kentucky, a heart health initiative aimed at empowering middle school girls to improve the health of Americans through careers in science, technology, engineering and math. STEM Goes Red programming teaches participants how the heart works, how nutrition impacts the heart, and the importance of creating healthy heart habits early in life. The program focuses on helping young women become more involved in STEM fields, as currently, only 20% of cardiologists in the country are female. By empowering young women to explore careers in STEM, the American Heart Association seeks to address the region’s STEM workforce inequities and impact innovation and economic development.

This year’s event will honor Carol Barr, who passed away last June due to a heart condition called mitral valve prolapse (see Honoring Carol Barr). Like in years past, the Central Kentucky Go Red for Women event will include stories of survival and highlight the many advancements in cardiac science and research. Discussions will include the American Heart Association’s increased focus on  COVID-19 and health equity.

“The American Heart Association has invested $2.5 million to investigate the cardiovascular implications of COVID-19,” said Turner. “Our goal is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke for all, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, language, sexual orientation, national origin, and physical or cognitive abilities.”

For Love, innovation is dependent on a diversity of ideas and diversity of people.

“CHI Saint Joseph Health isn’t just passionate about women’s heart care, we’re working to redefine it,” she said. “We’re dedicated to our patients and all the communities we serve.”

To learn more and reserve your spot for the Central Kentucky Go Red for Women Experience, visit LexingtonGoRed.heart.org

Circle of Red

The Circle of Red is a society of women who join the American Heart Association in the fight against heart disease. Located in communities throughout the United States, Circle of Red members use their influence, generosity, and ambassadorship to help increase awareness of heart disease—the leading cause of death for women—and to inspire women to take charge of their heart health.

Many members have lost dear friends and loved ones to heart disease. They know what’s at stake. As front line advocates for the cause, Circle of Red members not only help save lives, but give meaning and fulfillment to their own lives and those they touch. Circle of Red Members are a catalyst for real, positive change for women’s heart health in their community and beyond.

Members of the Circle of Red earn the opportunity to attend special events and VIP experiences where they learn, lead and advocate for heart health. They also mentor students and raise funds for lifesaving science and community-changing programs.

Members of the Central Kentucky Circle of Red Enjoy:

• A welcome Box
• Recognition at Go Red for Women Events
• Networking opportunities
• The opportunity to participate in advocacy activities at the State Capitol
• Invitations to Go Red for Women Events

Team up with other passionate leaders in your community who are on a mission to flatline heart disease by joining the Central Kentucky Circle of Red. In addition to our traditional Circle of Red membership, we have created the Carol Barr Circle of Red in collaboration with the Carol Barr Advisory Team to honor Carol’s dedication to the American Heart Association and women’s heart health.

To learn more and join, contact Mike Turner at 859-227-4006 or [email protected]

Honoring Carol Barr

Carol Barr was just 39 when she unexpectedly and tragically passed away last June due to a heart condition called mitral valve prolapse. Mitral valve prolapse is a condition in which the two valve flaps of the mitral valve do not close smoothly or evenly, but bulge (prolapse) upward into the left atrium. When the heart pumps, part of one or both flaps collapse backward into the left atrium, sometimes causing a small amount of blood to leak backward through the valve.

Carol was a natural leader whose magnetic personality was a light that guided her daughters, her community, and her family. To honor Carol’s legacy of work with Go Red for Women, the American Heart Association is working with Carol’s husband, U.S. Congressman Andy Barr, on an initiative created in Carol’s name to fund research on mitral valve prolapse, and STEM programs and scholarships for young girls in Eastern Kentucky.

To learn more and support the Carol Barr Initiative, contact Mike Turner at [email protected] or 859-227-4006.

Thank you to the Carol Barr Advisory Team, who are working with the American Heart Association to honor Carol’s
memory and further her legacy:
• Andy Barr, honorable chair (non-voting)
• Colleen Barr
• Nancy Boatman
• Jenny Carman
• Jennifer Harris
• Sarah Leavell
• Ty Slone McBrayer

• Emily Richards
• Caroline Ruschell